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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

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Us 25, Nsa 12, U.s. 12, United States 10, Sandy 9, America 9, Washington 8, Fema 5, Obama 4, Keith Alexander 4, Jay Carney 4, Wisconsin 4, Wyoming 4, Texas 4, Oklahoma 3, Mr. Baucus 3, New Jersey 3, Sebelius 3, Ron 3, Feinstein 2,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    October 29, 2013
    12:00 - 2:01pm EDT  

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share with my colleagues just a few thoughts before i leave. i want to begin by thanking gorchlegovernor christie for prg me with this incredible opportunity. our professional relationship and friendship began more than 20 years ago as young lawyers working together in a new jersey law firm. we had our entire careers ahead of us. if someone had suggested to me back then that one day chris christie would be governor, i wouldn't have been surprised. i would, however, have dismissed out of hand any suggestion that i might someday be the new jersey attorney general, let alone a member of the united states senate. to have served here representing the people of new jersey has to rank as the greatest honor of my professional life. i will always be grateful to governor christie for the confidence he has shown in me by appointing me, and i will always be thankful for the wonderful opportunities he has given me time and again to serve in public life. i also want to thank my colleagues in the senate from
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both sides of the aisle who have gone out of their way to make me feel welcome, to help me navigate the sometimes confusing rules and traditions of the senate, and for assisting me in making the most of my time here. one thing that i did note for certain when i arrived here in june was that i wanted to use my time as effectively as possible. to the extent that i have, i have so many of my colleagues to thank. the senior senator from new jersey, who will soon have to break in another new senator from our state, has been a very supportive colleague, and i truly appreciate his willingness to assist me throughout my time in the senate. thank you, senator. the republican leader has gone above and beyond to give me this opportunity to work to make a difference during my tenure here, and for that, i want to thank him very much. i also want to thank the senior senator from delaware and the junior senator from oklahoma for agreeing to my request to hold a hearing on human trafficking in the homeland security and government affairs committee. eliminating human trafficking or more directly abolishing modern
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day slavery has been a priority for me throughout my career in public service. the chairman and the ranking member of the committee could not have been more helpful to my efforts to raise awareness about this evil crime, a crime that robs people of their innocence and dignity, taking a terrible toll on its victims and our society as a whole. the junior senators from new hampshire and north dakota, both former attorneys general themselves, stood alongside me in this effort. when i first spoke with them about my desire to hold a hearing, they immediately agreed and worked with me to make it as would you have as possible. i am grateful to them for partnering with me, and i know they will continue to make this issue a top priority. i also want to thank the senior senator from arizona for attending and contributing to the hearing on a day when no votes were scheduled and for his strong commitment to righting this terrible wrong. these are all important and forceful voices for the victims of human trafficking, and i appreciate their support of my
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efforts. i want all of my colleagues to know that i will continue to work to abolish this scourge on our nation and on the entire human family. i hope that they will feel free to call on me if i can ever be helpful to them in their efforts just as i may call on them from time to time. so many of my colleagues have made this a wonderful experience and i am proud to call all of them my friends. i know thew i looked pretty lost on more than one occasion but i always had someone pointing knee the right direction. i am particularly grateful to my good friends from utah, wyoming, tennessee, ohio, and illinois who have repeatedly helped me over the past five months, both by listening and also by providing me with advice. mr. president, as every senator knows, the work we do here would not be possible without the work of a people who serve -- of the people who serve on our staffs. i have been incredibly fortunate to have an outstanding group of people on my staff, a group that
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i am so proud to have worked with. they were fully aware that their tenure, like mine, would be short. they interrupted and in many cases disrupted their lives to serve with me. my chief of staff dong in a mullens did an amazing job of assembling a dead catted group of professionals to serve here and in new jersey. their willingness to do so reflects their commitment to the people of niewrnl, to th new jee senate and to our nation. all of them have earned my ever-lasting respect and friendship. i want to acknowledge each of them by name. donna mullens, john lutz, tommy andolini, rick dorocc. ko, chip as sinders, christa powers, tyler yingling, michael rebuck, chris mindich, jamie
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rhodes, michael pock, andijan tai palmer. they reflect the best of public service and i will always be thankful to them and the work we have done together. of course, the greatest thanks goes to my family, my wife general chained our children al and hanna have always given me their unconditional loved and support. i could not have done this without them. i'm lucky to have them. mr. president, i was born and raised in new jersey. it's not just my home state. it's my home in every sense of the word. the honor of representing the people of my state, my friends, my neighbors is almost beyond description. after all, there can be no greater calling for any citizen than to have the opportunity to represent the people of your state in the highest counsel of government. so although the past five months have passed very quickly, my deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to serve will stay with me for the rest of my life.
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mr. president, my experience as a member of this body has confirmed what i already twhawts true: every member of the senate is a dedicated public servant. every senator is deeply committed to the work they do. every senator is here because he or she wants to contribute to the centuries-old work of forming a more perfect union. we do not always agree on how this is best accomplished, but a vigorous, respectful debate is critical in a government like ours. there is so much talent here, so much commitment, and so much love of country. i would urge my colleagues to advance their efforts to find common ground in pursuit of their common purpose: to continue to advantages the success of the country we love and secure the blessings of liberty for the people we serve. mr. president, soon there will be a new senator-elect from new jersey who will stand where i stood just a few months ago to be sworn in. when he takes his place in this body, he will be joining a long list of dedicated public
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servants who have served new jersey, stretching back to the very first congress. i would urge him to continue to work as hard for the people of our state as he did while serving as the mayor of new jersey's large of the city. and i know that he will always put the people of new jersey first. new jersey's new senator will have a very long list of priorities waiting for him when he arrives in walkers awferl them important. there is one area that will require his immediate and ongoing focus: that is new jersey's continued effort to recover and rebuild from the devastation of superstorm sandy, which struck my are state a year ago today. working together, new jerseyans have made incredible progress in coming back from what the storm delivered, but our work continues. for those who have suffered so much loss, a year seems like an eternity. they must know that until all of the damage done by the tomorrow is undone, and until all the work needed to prk our state and its people, their property --
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and their property from future storms like this is completed, we will not rest. so as i prepare to make the transition back to private life, i do so with a deep sen sense of grass tiewd to all move to made my service in the senate possible. this has been for me a remarkable five months. i know that i will in theees ahead look back on this time with gratitude and appreciation for the privilege of having served the people of new jersey in the senate of the united states of america. thank you, mr. president. i yield back. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: while, the senator is still on the floorks i just want to take a moment and -- to say to him, i think he knows this, but to say to him how much we've enjoyed getting to know him, to work with him, and to really come away with a
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wonderful -- not just a first impression but a lasting impression. i think goarn christie did the state of new jersey well by appointing you to serve as the interim senator. we had a similar experience with losing and elected senator. when joe biden became -- was elected to vice president and u.s. senate at the same time, and he had to choose between, will he be the senator from delaware or will he be vice president, he made the choice -- i don't know if he ever regrets it, but he made the choice to be our vice president, as we know. and the governor of our state ainterpood ted kaufman. he was succeeded by chris coons, when chris was elected a couple years ago. but we have a tradition of folks that are appointed as interim senators turn out to do an extraordinary job. i wonder if maybe tongue in cheek if maybe that's not a better approach in some cases
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for populating this place with men and women from across the country. you have been here for five tumultuous months. and you have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, in some cases the very ugly, and i think if we had more people who bring your values and your commitment to comity -- not comedy with a "d "king"but "comity" with a "t" yr willingness to compromise on policy, if we had more people like you, this would be a better place. i want to say on behalf of tom coburn be, our rank republican, on behalf of those of us privileged to serve in that committee what a privilege it has been for you to be one of our members. i am joined here on the floor by the senator from wyoming,
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senator barrasso, and i would just say to senator about a rohr sea, as you-- --to senator barrasso, jeff key a so came late and asked good questions. he brought forth the ib of human trafficking which has remoonedded us in extraordinary ways of the terrible situation faced by millions of women, children, in this country and around the world. so thank you for that. that is a gift that you have brought to this body, and i think ultimately to our country. you are going to leave us now and sail off into the sunrise. and we look forward to having our paths cross many times in the future, many even in delaware on a summer vacation, if you bring your wife jenny and your two kids. you're always welcome in the first state. but good luck, god bless,
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godspeed. and thank four serving our country and your state so well. mr. barrasso: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: i had like to add in a bipartisan way my thanks to senator chiesa and add in the kind words that the senator from delaware has spoken of our friend and our colleague. in wyoming we talk a lot about the code of the west, and ten parts to that code, but one number is live each day with courage and number two is take pride in your wonch i think we have seen that. members on bowgets sides of the aisle have seen that sort of code lived day by day by the senator from new jersey who has joined us. so i just wanted to join my colleague from delaware in thanking our friend from new jersey and i say this with great admiration, with great appreciation and with deep respect for his time in the senate, and i know we're going to continue to hear great things from him in the future. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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mr. baucus: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. baucus: mr. president, i ask consent to speak for as long as i might consume. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. baucus: mr. president, franklin delano roosevelt said -- quote -- "our capacity is limited only by our ability to work together. what is needed is the will." end quote. i've just returned from a week at home in montana traveling from fort benton to billings to boozman. i visited with constituents from all across our state. at each one of my meetings, the conversation would touch on the first snow of the season or football and the bobcats or the grizzlies. those are in this case football teams.
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but inevitably every conversation turned to the challenges we face here in washington and the standoff we just had over the country's borrowing limit and funding the government. people have lost faith in our ability to serve. they're worried about what the dysfunction means for the future of our country. for more than two weeks, congress was stuck in a stalemate, unable to agree on a course for our nation. the political standoff shook america's confidence and threatened the global economy. thankfully, compromise was able to overcome conflict. cooler heads finally prevailed. but our nation didn't emerge from the fight unscathed. the 16-day government shutdown took a $24 billion bite out of the united states economy. that's according to standard &
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poor's. the rating agency now projects the u.s. economy will only grow at 2.4% in the fourth quarter, as opposed to the already slow 3% predicted prior to the shutdown. that is a staggering self-inflicted wound and defaulting would have been even worse. thankfully that didn't happen. leader reid and minority leader mcconnell were able to find the will and come together to provide a path that averted default. their bipartisan legislation passed on october 16 pulled us back from the brink. it created a conference committee to negotiate a budget compromise and it gave the president the power to suspend the debt limit until early february. it also gave senators an opportunity to object and overturned the suspension using what's called a resolution of
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disapproval. that's what we're considering here today. i strongly urge my colleagues to reject this resolution. for the good of our economy, it cannot pass. passing this resolution would plunge this nation back into the same economic crisis we were facing just a few weeks ago. and with economic confidence still suffering from the shutdown, another debt ceiling crisis could drive the nation and the world back into recession. we cannot let that happen. it's time to be responsible leaders. congress needs to stop governing from oneself-created crisis to another. tomorrow the budget conference committee will begin discussions on a plan to resolve the fiscal challenges before us. the conference will be led by chairman murray and chairman ryan. they are smart, hardworking, and
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solutions oriented and i'm confident they can craft a compromise. i began my remarks with a quote from president roosevelt and i'll close with another. roosevelt once said -- and i'm quoting -- "the great test for us and our time is whether all the groups of our people are willing to work together for continuing progress." well, today we face our test. can we work together for continuing progress? i strongly urge members of the senate to reject the resolution before us. it is a step backward and return to the shutdowns and showdowns. and enough is enough. instead, we must find the will to work together for progress for the good of our economy and the good of our country. thank you. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate previous order, the senate >> so the senate takeing a break now. so members can attend the weekly part caucus meetings. when lawmakers return at 2:15 eastern we expect a vote. we may also be nomination of richard griffin to be the general counsel of the labor relations board. while we are in this break we will have live coverage of today's white house briefing with jay carney. it was due to start at 12:30 eastern. it will get underway at 1:15. we expect lots of questions about the healthcare.gov website and the rollout of the health care law. centers for medicare and medicaid administrator marilyn tavenner testified about that liveit on c-span3. here is a look.
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>> thank you, chairman camp and ranking member levin and members of the committee. we launched on october 1st one. key provisions affordable care acthe the new marketplace where people without health insurance including those who could not afford it and not part after group plan could go to get affordable coverage. we know consumers are having difficulty enrolling via the marketplace website. it is important to note that the affordable care act however is however more than just a website. it create as new market which allows people to access quality, affordable health care. it i it allows them to have insurance options. it create as pooling of consumers into statewide group plans that i can spread the riss between sick people and healthy people, between youngli and old and bargains on their behalf to give them the best deal on health insurance. by creating competition where there wasn't competition before, insurers are now eager for new business an have created new health care plans with more choices. the premiums for coverage were
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lower than expected and millions of americans will also qualify for tax credits to make the coverage even more affordable. we know that consumers are eager to purchase this coverage and to the millions of americans who attempted to use healthcare.gov to shop and enroll in health care coverage i want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should. we know how desperately you need affordable coverage. i want to assure you that healthcare.gov can and will be fixed and we are working round-the-clock to deliver the shopping experience that. you deserve. we are seeing improvements each week and publicly by the end of november the experience on the site will be smooth for the vast majority of users. >> that part of the testimony from earlier today on c-span3. the hearing does continue live right now on c-span3. reminder you can watch the entire hearing online shortly at c-span.org. the u.s. senate is in session today. lawmakers right now taking their
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weekly party lunches. they will be back at 2:15 eastern. we'll have live coverage here on c-span2 while we wait, during the government shutdown senate chaplain, admiral barry black attracted media attention for his fervent prayers for lawmakers during the impasse. we spoke to him about the prayers and the history of the senate chaplain. >> when our federal shutdown delays payments of death benefits to the families of children dieing on faraway battlefields, it is time for our lawmakers to say enough is enough. cover our shame with the robe of your righteousness. forgive us, reform us, and make
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whole. we pray in your merciful name, amen. i write my prayers from out of the overflow of my deinvestigational life. i read the bible every day, probably for at least an hour. i read the bible to prepare sermons. i read the bible for my personal spiritual growth and out of the overflow of my devotional life my prayers emerge. what i get devotion alley i connect to my pass storm interaction with our -- pastoral interaction with the lawmakers, members of their family, members
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of their staff around other people who make up the senate side of capital hill. my prayers consist of synthesis of devotions and pastoral outreach. >> during the shutdown you used pretty strong language in your prayers, things like save us from the madness, forgive us hypocrisy, forgive us the blunders they have committed. were you making a political point when you were saying those things? >> i don't think i was attempting to a make a political point. i think i was trying to describe the environment that i found myself in. i am a pastor first and foremost. i'm not a politician. i am descriptive rather than prescriptive. so what i was describing was phenomena that i saw on both side of the aisle. i think, for instance, i made a statement, remove the burdens of
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those who are the collateral damage of this federal shutdown. most of my members were furloughed. i'm aware of the burden that is they have to bear. i made a plea for their not to be a delay in death benefits to the grieving families of our fallen warriors. i did that primarily because i have made scores of death notifications to next of kin as a navy chap plain for 27 years and i appreciate the incomprehensible nature of their grief. so i was praying out of pastoral concern rather than trying to make a political point. >> do you feel as though you were giveing a voice some somes those people who were furloughed or for military families then? >> i think a critical part of
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prayer is to lift to god the concerns and the need of the people you serve. so you are a voice for the voiceless. >> and what was the response you got from senators and other lawmakers? >> i think someone who may have been upset about some of my prayers would probably be a little reluctant to come to me and say so. so most of the feedback that i received, from both sides of the aisle, the feedback was very, very positive. but you have to understand, i see these lawmakers on a regular basis. we participate in a weekly prayer breakfast. we participate in a weekly bible study. so they know me. they have also been listening to me pray for over 10 years. i mean 99% of the prayers that have been offered at the convening of the senate for the
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last decade have been offered by me. so they know that when i go off script, when i go rogue, they know, this must be very important. if you cry wolf in every prayer, when it comes time to say something that is pertinent and urgent, no one's going to believe you. so the pointed nature of my prayers, as i would describe them, rather than the scolding nature of my prayers, i think reflect the fact that most of my prayers are fairly placid. it is only when i am convinced that something urgent needs to be said. and remember, i'm not directing this to the lawmakers. i'm directing it to the sovereign god of the universe. i think they take that very seriously because the scolding
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aspect is not the normal quality of my praying. >> what would your response be to people who say, well what about separation of church and state? >> well, the phrase, separation of church and state first appeared in thomas jefferson's 1802 letter to the danbury baptists and if you read the context of that letter, he certainly was not talking about the elimination of a spiritual element to government. in, on may 25th, 1787 at the constitutional convention in philadelphia, it was benjamin franklin who insisted that they have prayer because they were trying to break an impasse. in 1789 when the legislative branch got started, one of their first orders of business was to
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establish a chaplaincy. so the chaplaincy was established even before the establishment clause of the first amendment, which states congress shall make no respecting the establishment of a religion or prohibiting free exercise thereof. the supreme court in marsh v. chambers, 1983, upheld the constitutionality of legislative prayer. so i think it's pretty clear that our framers intended that there be a spiritual dimension to government and that the separation of church and state was referring to the establishment of a religion, of having an official state religion or governmental religion. and i don't think any, any lawmaker would want me to address any particular partisan issue. my position is non-partisan. every statement i have made in my intercession could apply to
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both sides of the aisle. i provide ministry in a political environment. so my prayers will reflect material related to government because that's what politics, that is what the political process is all about but it does not, it does not bring up my prayers. i deliberately avoid partisan issues of the i have never talked about immigration reform, i have never talked about same-sex marriage or pro-choice or pro-life or anything like that in the decade-plus that i have been praying and i would not be addressing partisan issues. so i pray as we said earlier out of the overflow of my devotional life and pass tomorrow outreach, not to -- pastoral outreach, not to bring issues to the floor in my intercession. >> what is your favorite part about being chaplain?
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>> my favorite part about being the 62nd chaplain of the united states senate that it provides me with a front row seat to human history. there's more written about the legislative branch of government in our constitution than any other branch and i have the privilege of having a front row seat to the legislative process. i think that most people are not so much afraid of dieing as they are -- dyings as they are never having truly lived. anyone that has a front row seat to human history can shuffle off this mortal coil absolutely certain that he or she has truly lived. >> senate chaplain barry black. if you missed any of interview or would like to see it again, it is available in the c-span video library at c-span.org. we're waiting for the
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white house briefing set to begin at 1:15 eastern. we will have it live when it starts on c-span2. right now a discussion on the nation's intelligence gathering services on today's "washington journal." >> host: we're back with mike conaway, member of the senate intelligence committee. let's begin with the u.s. news about nsa spying on its allies. did you know that was being done. >> guest: europe in s foreign country. we collect foreign intelligence. in best interest, from national security standpoint and other interests as well. as you heard keith alexander say, much of that data collection has been used to help avert props in europe that might have effort wise happened. so our allies ben from the collection we do and that is important national security issue, that we do collect foreign intelligence.
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host host chairman diane fines stein, democrat fromce californ, said yesterday that the intelligence panel has been left in the dark about a program that has been occurring over the last decade. >> guest: i don't know what goes on in senate intelligence. i know what goes on in the house intelligence. we have keith alexander up often what is going on in the intelligence activities, data collection. c cia is up there often to do the oversight responsibility. i don't feel that april in the house side, i don't know what goes on in the senate. >> host: you were briefed as a we were spying on u.s. allies government leaders? >> guest: i was briefed, i have to be very careful here, we collect foreign intelligence overseas, foreign intelligence that we collect. yes, that we knew, and we do know that the united states has not only collection through the nsa but variety of other methods where we expect collect as much information what is going on
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owe-off seas so policymakers here in the unitedso states can have more information. the more information we have the better decisions we make and safer this country will be. >> host: president obama according to the white house was not made aware of this until this summer. what is your reaction to that? >> guest: that is up to him and the white house. f questions,nd o excuse me, greta, someone would ask whether think decide whether or not this president is doing a good job or not of the we settled that in november. that is irrelevant question quitego frankly. that he is never running for re-election. whether he knew about this or benghazi or "fast & furious," other things going on, if you voted for him i suspect you will give him a pass again. if you didn't vote for him you will be outraged. there is not a lost middle ground on issue. >> host: sounds like you doubt he was not made aware of in? >> guest: i have no idea what the president did or did not know on any of these issues. >> host: the chairwoman of the senate intelligence committee, dianne feinstein in her statement yesterday called for total review of nsa spying
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programs. would you endorse, do you endorse that idea and what would that entail? >> guest: well, certainly endorse reviewing everything we do. there is nothing that wedo do aa federal government that shouldn't be subject to review and analysis and is it still effective, is it doing what we need to do, is it cost effective, those kinds of things? a to z kind of review going on at nsa is fine. it is part of our oversight responsibilities on the intelligence committee both in the house and in the senate. i don't think it ever hurts to ask folks doing things on behalf of the united states what they're doing, how they're doing it? is it effective? is there better way to do it? do we even still need to do it? those kinds of questions. >> host: "new york times" calls what miss feinstein is talking about would be quote, a major undertaking. >> guest: again i don't know what miss feinstein is talking about. in terms of the house select committee on intelligence we review things constantly. if we want to go through
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everything the nsa does, that is something we would do. >> host: this afternoon's hearing before the house intelligence hearing with james alexander and james clapper what will you be asking those two? >> guest: we asked most of the questions in private sessions. and again, we'll, you know, help the, have, ask kind of questions that we hope to allow mr. alexander and general clapper toes explain to the american people what we are and are not doing. there iser incredible amount of misinformation being reported particularly when the things are early reported. a lot of mistakes made. some honest and i think for sensational value, an awful lot of misinformation in the public arena what the nsa is doing and not doing particularly with respect to u.s. citizens. having general alexander to explain the differences between the programs out there and what we can and can not do with respect to things within the united states and against u.s. citizens just to continue to try to get that record straight so when we do decide to make a
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decision with respect toto poliy issues we're basing it on facts rather than just the innuendo in the newspaper article or the misinformation that these journalists continue to put out, again, sometimes by honest mistakes. other times i think by design. >> host: how will you vote on what the "washington post" says are dueling pieces of nsa leg shun? jim sensenbrenner, republican of wisconsin, teamed up with patrick leahy, democrat of vermont, to put together legislation that would rein in, according to "the washington post", what the nsa is doing with itsat method of collecting phone records on americans. then you have your chairman, mike rogers, on the house side and senator dianne feinstein on the senate side wanting to have more transparency in how nsa does its programs. how would you vote on those two-pieces? >> >> guest: i haven't seen the sensenbrenner-leahy legislation.
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i i looks at first blush doing what we're already doing. i don't know what the legislation doest or doesn't do so i can't take a position with respect to that on the house, select committee's legislation we're pushing forward i am in favor of that and working with chairman rogers to try to get that done. >> host: explain to ourour viewers who don't get a briefing like youo do, what would this d? what would lodge rogers's legislation do? >> guest: attempt to demystify some of the things going on. much of everything we do is classified. that in and of itself, lend itself to folks being distrustful particularly if the arena we are now where vast majority of americans don't trust federal government, don't trust congress and thinks going on. for me to say we're doing x, y and z. it is met with a bit of skepticism. i understand that. i to maintain my own personal integrity and those kind of things. having additional information
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about the programs what they do and don't do, particularly given where the general knowledge of the public is now with respect to these issues the impact it will have on our enemies and on our foes, they already know now much of what they shouldn't have known before the leaks of the so we've, youw know, helping american people understand that we are using this information properly, correctly. there is good supervision and oversight through the courts and through the executive branch and through congress to make sure we're not abusing our privacy rights. >> host: get to phone calls. richard has been waiting, lake placid, florida, independent caller. hi, richard. >> caller: yes, good morning, greta. good morning, representative conaway. appears to me and reports i have been reading there is a purge going on in the obama administration with our military. that he is basically retired or forced out 197 or 200 high-ranking officers, field commanders, admirals, and he has
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given a, the obama administration has given a litmus test to military personnel as to if they will turn their weapons on the u.s. citizens. this is kind of a scary thing. i read it a report in the three different sources. i would like to ask the congressman if he knows anything about this. would he comment on this and what is going on with this administration? it appears heen has made the u.. citizens the enemy. he has a problem telling the truth. that is very obvious. we don't know what's going on with any of the incidents like benghazi, "fast & furious," the irs. it's, i would like for the, the guest here, representative conaway to comment on this please. >> host: okay, richard. >> guest: richard, appreciate that. we're having a shrinkage in the united states military because
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of sequestration and cuts this administration has done over the last five years with respect to military spending. as you shrink the size of the force you're going to have some natural shrinkage at top as well, you can't maintain the same type and shrink the bottom. h what you're talking about may be the fact that we have some reduction, you've seen reports, reducing number of flag officers and those kinds of things. to tie that to a litmus test, to anything would be totally inappropriate for this administration to be requiring, particularly the idea that the military would in effect turn on u.s. citizens. i have not heard anything whatsoever from that from official sources or unofficial sources. quite frankly you're the first person who brought it up tying reductions in the flag ranks and other ranks as it is driven by sequestration and driven by overall spending cuts in reduction in money we're spending at the department of
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defense tying that to this litmus test. but it would be totally inappropriate to require some statement like that and given the number of people that you talked about being involved, this wouldgi have come out of officially rather than just few the innuendo of tying it to the cuts. >> host: congressman mike conaway, our guest here, republican from texas sifting on intelligence committeings taking your questions and comments about the nsa intelligence and surveillance programs. ron, you're next. from vermont. democratic caller. hi, ron. gest i would like to say years ago, j. edgar hoover had many files on people especially from congress. i think that right now, the whole democratic process has been underminded. america is no longer free. when you know, we have files now, electronic files on all congressman, on all senators, on
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all leaders, how can we trust anybodyon in our government any longer because how do we know that you aren't being coerced into voting certain ways? i have had it. the government is corrupt. and we're looking elsewhere. >> host: ron, we'll get a response from the congressman. >> guest: i like to ask you, what form of government would you prefer? you said you're looking elsewhere? would you prefer another form of government than we have? you're talking about people that run the government system we have right now, are you looking at some other form of government that you would prefer? >> host: ron is gone. >> guest: i hate that. >> host: you're making a point there and explain a little bit more. what is the alternative? >> guest: old adage ouher form f government is the worst out there except for everyone that is out there and i bucherred that quote obviously. but our constitution is strong of the it's healthy.
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itt is there. we have a great form of government. we have people people with feet of clay trying to do the best they can in many instances. to the caller's specific point i'm not aware of any file that might be out there on me. i'm not being coerced in any shape, form or manner about it. any one of us has a public record whatsoever has internet the last namein and pull up all kind of information about people that was never before available until we had these new tools available to w, to, through the internet d those kind of things. it is different paradigm than we had in the past and we'll have to cope with it. to set the caller straight i'm not being owekersed or aware of any file out that would be used on me in a way that is inappropriate. >> host: greg on twitter. we should share information regarding threats instead of operating covertly.
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>> guest: that international agreement is only good as folks willing to do it and stood by it. i don't think thatnd will work. i'm a bit of a cynic thinking internationally countries around the world would be able to honor that agreement and stick to it. we'll need to continue to collect foreign intelligence. >> host: what do you think about the front page of "the new york times"? their headline this morning that president obama may ban spying on heads of allied states? >> guest: that is up to the president. he is commander-in-chief and thing he is should be doing and worried about protecting america's interests and americans around this world. so any restrictions on foreign intelligence collection would, grave, yield grave decisions to be made but those are his decisions to make. we'll have the oversight through the house select committee to see what that, what the rationale for that is. >> host: would a ban hurt our intelligence gathering? guest, yes -- >> guest: yes.
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yes. >> host: how so? guest we would no less than we know now. the more information we have here in the united states the better we are able to protect american interests and americans around the world. >> host: "new york times" and otherth papers, white house will get a visit from a delegation of german officials. when they come to theia white house they're expected to have a no spying agreement similar to what the united states has with britain, which is known as five is. >> guest: those five is are trusted countries coming out of world war ii and earlier. we trust those folks because we similar philosophies on government. i suspect it would be a pretty intense meeting with the german delegation that's coming over. one of the criticisms of our president is that he doesn't build personal relationships with world leaders. he doesn't do it with leaders of
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congress and doesn't do it with world leaders. the reason you try to build the personal relationships are just for these times when you have a dust-up like we're having with germany. had a better relationship with merkel, then you could work off of that and deal with it. so we'll see what comes out of that delegation and, whether or not the, the rationale for treating germany the same as we treat the other five is or four is, ours included would be five, yet to be seen we'll have to see the rationale why that would make sense. >> host: do you think there is rationale? >> guest: not at this stage? i'm not aware of one but we'll have to see. >> host: brooklyn, new york, independent caller. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i just want to ask you, if you feel that since 9/11 basically we're moving towards police state, okay? we're losing our rights for due process in, it's, it's basically saying that this is only done for the people that are out
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there to get us and stuff, but you know, it is all good when you come out and say, only have good intentions. but that is how, you know, germany became how it became. where people basically were sleeping. they didn't pay attention to those things and just because you guys are coming out and saying that, you know, we're all good, constitution is working doesn't mean somebody can't come into power and basically switch it very quickly. so what is your thoughts on that? >> guest: well, i don't disagree that when you give folks power and authorities and responsiblities that those can be abused. our system has built in checks and balances. we have a court system that protects us. we have a legislative system oversees much of what the executive branch does. yes, in fact we do grant the executive branch a awful lost of authorities and powers to do things we think ought to be done. can those be abused? certainly. incumbent on all of us to make
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sure we don't go to sleep at the switch and maintain oversight of legislative branch and we have a strong court system and executive branch does its role as well. so having all three of those come together will protect us from kind of abuses you're fearful of. . . oklahoma, good morning. caller: good morning from oklahoma. i just wanted to say to the congressman that my son is a disabled veteran and belongs to your organization. my grandson is fixing to join the navy this month. yes, that is in their, they have to pledge, now, that they will fire on american citizens. absolutely, in all the branches. they are all upset about it. a lot of them plan to get out.
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they do not want to kill their families back home. it is in there. the national guard knows about it. there is so much stuff going on it is hard for the congressman and senators to keep up with all this stuff. the white house in my opinion has a socialist program going on . but i know that obama tried to build his brown shirt army because he had no army to control. there were national guard units in each state that belonged to each state. they have been use for wars for bush and everybody else. host: let's get a response from the congressman. off, thank you for your son's service and sacrifice. those who are disabled when -- after they serve get to deal with their service sacrifice every single day even when they are out of active duty. thank you for your grandson's future service.
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i am proud you have got such a good family that the father can suffer a disability while serving his country and yet his son is willing to that into that uniform and take those the same risks. pledge to fire on american citizens, i am not sure where that is coming from, but i have a couple of guys on the who are looking to see if there is anything in the official oath of office they could be misinterpreted that way. just on the surface to me it does not smack is being something that would be a part of the official signing up process, but we will do a quick review of that. host: congressman, here is a tweet from jack -- guest: i don't know that we could. given the role that "the guardian" wanted to play when they put this out, maintaining relevance in the arena, it
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should have been better by not allowing edward snowden to steal the documents that he stole from our country. "the guardian," is operating in its own best interest. they have inherited stolen goods, stolen information, and ind to be held accountable informing the world of these instances. what was stolen, we have tried as best we can to figure out what all he does have, but we are really at the mercy of "the guardian" as to how they roll the revelations out and how they spin them. it is a mostly inaccurate portrayal of that data. do you and the intelligence communities know exactly what he has? guest: no, he could have some stuff that we are not aware of. host: do you have an idea a echo
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-- id a? guest: -- idea? guest: we do in some instances, but not everything. host: they still cannot answer that question? guest: not definitively. no one can answer that question. host: how is it that that is not possible? there is a lot of it that he took over a long. of time. host: so, there is more to come? guest: i do not know, in infinite wisdom. host: kevin on twitter asks -- guest: you're caller earlier talked about the boston bomber and why we did not catch them. we did not catch them because we did not mind that metadata for anything.
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we need a reasonable suspicion before we mine that data for anything. consequently we were not mining the data for that kind of information. it is only investigated when we an articulate suspicion, then law enforcement kicks in. tough sell right now, i understand that. i understand the kind of fellow that man is and how jealously he guards american privacy. he clearly understands the powerful tools that he gets to oversee and how they should be restrained and not used. he is good at conveying that to the folks back home, which is difficult. there is a real distrust for all of government, congress, this it is a tough uphill
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battle and we have to continue to talk about what we are doing and not doing, try to get that message out. we have a public session this afternoon with keith alexander. host: on that point, what do you take of the general taking to youtube and doing that interview with the blogger? it did not get a lot of media attention. guest: general examiner is trying to use all the tools he can. he wants to understand that we are not violating those limitations. quite frankly, it is innovative, using that particular model. having that out there so that anyone anytime, anywhere, can go to that and try to make their own decision as to what they think of him and his open straightforwardness, which i find him to be, for themselves. it gives an intimate look at what he does and those kinds of hope ithe did it and i
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gets plenty of attention and lots of hits, as they say. oft: we showed a little bit it earlier, we will show some more later on. shelby tweets what you have been talking about congressman -- let's hear from wendy in lynnwood, washington. republican caller. hello. have never called here before, i am in the hospital watching this in the middle of the night. i am an american citizen who is worker, ahealth care cancer patient, watching all of this and i am no longer officially a democrat. insane. the intelligence, the disturbing stuff that is going on. the president not knowing what is going on. our own country, our people losing their insurance.
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she brings up a lot of questions, a lot of issues. towardseral attitude the government, towards congress and the white house, people are frustrated, they do not see it working the way they wanted to. they blame congress, but i am reflective of the folks who live in district 11. either towards tax increases or this on affordable care act, as my constituents like to call it. i am trying to represent them in washington, d.c. we have heartfelt decisions on the other side of the aisle from last november. you can look at divided government from the reagan era, where there was divided control. very important things got done
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because the president led in that arena. just a divided government. i do not sense leadership out of the white house. there is malaise going on. we appear to be adrift as a country and it is fomenting into an overall distrust from the american people. i get it. i am back home trying to do town halls, i will be doing one tonight to buck up the attitude going onabout what is in washington, d.c., and clearly this caller is very discouraged about what she sees going on or not going on in our country. host: how long have you served on the intelligence committee echo guest: -- committee? guest: this is my third term. host: liz, you are next, republican caller, maryland. for you and congressman , i was on the spot
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over at the capitol and i have an issue with the way they are turning the local and state governments into police states. they are intruding into people's personal business affairs using these crazy aerial surveillance to track the movements of people. none of this has anything to do with terrorism. it has to do with intimidating and suppressing freedom of speech. think that these program should be de-funded immediately. it is a misuse and abuse of taxpayer funding. so, you agree with the efforts earlier this year to defund the nsa surveillance program? host: death -- caller: definitely, definitely. the bill that they have now,
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ath conyers, yes, definitely new bill, we should all support the need to get rid of this spying, it is not doing anything to stop the real people who are causing the domestic terror. you: congressman, earlier told us that you disagree with the legislation. why would you oppose those efforts? it will be less safe -- guest: it will be less safe, folks will die. there were 54 events around the world, 13 in the united states, 41 overseas that eventually resulted in people dying. not something i want to have happen, so part of my job is to do the oversight and work with the system to make sure that privacy is not being abused and if it is, the folks are being held to account. i understand the overall disdain for what is going on.
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she mentioned drones and other things, it has absolutely nothing to do with nsa. we have new tools to try to prevent crime in the united states. each local jurisdiction, each state gets to decide for themselves. she has mixed her message is there between what she does not like and the nsa programs. place. good processes in earlier you mentioned a front- page issue that talked about some vague reports from the fisa courts, nothing could be further from the truth. those quartz arm actively involved in the most minute details in everything and -- everything going on with oversight. our military has all kinds of weapons that, used improperly, would be outrageous.
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we trust those guys to not do that. we have tools that if the nsa was using improperly would be outrageous and we must maintain close privacy over that as well. i want to keep america safe without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. bad, evil people are trying to plot around the world against the united states, that is something the federal government is supposed to do. those are enumerated powers and this is part of that process. host: this tweet from mike -- guest: what force? it is part of the common defense. these are international threats that come at us and our allies. they have benefited from these programs. it is again a tool that needs to be watched carefully and make sure you have the right people in place to do that. host: on oversight, how often are you briefed by nsa what is
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-- on what is happening echo are you told about successes when they stop terrorist attacks? from time to time, yes, we get briefed on the events, the , they may have had incific briefings on that terms of what is happening and not happening. host: how often do you meet with nsa officials? is no set schedule, but they are often up there, the fbi, cia, with pieces related to intelligence gathering. we have got all the other afro -- alphabet soup agencies coming to our committee from time to time to talk about what is happening. host: have you ever attended a pfizer court seizure? >> that is not allowed. why not let an
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intelligence member in? guest: i do not know. was the case, giving the close hold they have on the process. one of the things we're looking at is how do we open up those court operations without revealing sources, methods, giving away trade secrets, so to speak, getting more visibility and transparency into that process. do someoing to have to things to regain the trust of the american people and it may well mean that we have to open up some issues that you would rather not. issues that we really should not or would not otherwise have done , trying to reestablish some sense of confidence in the american people that we are not spying on each other or gathering e-mails from twitter and facebook. all the stuff the newspaper is reporting with those issues, it will require us to do some
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things we would probably rather the greaterin interest of maintaining programs in their core, we will have to get the trust back from the american people that the oversight is proper and if something goes wrong it gets caught and whoever did it gets punished. host: jim, west park, illinois, independent caller. first of all, i wanted to tell you that i had a very enjoyable time in your district back in the mid-1980s when i was stationed at the air force ace. air force baset has had a long association with national security. have you ever had a chance to tour those facilities? also, were you at any point in time involved in the nsa yourself? guest: first off, come back,
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take a tour yourself, you would not recognize the air force base. .t has continued to grow the mission of training cryptologist, linguists, and others, it continues. the facility often and been up there to see what we are doing. former association with the nsa other than as a member of congress. district you have this space that deals with training. talk about more about what they do there. guest: one is firefighter training, all entry-level firefighters come to the air force base to gain those entry- level skills and they have follow-up courses as well. the other bigger piece is to provide airmen, marines, and soldiers into the intelligence system coming for basic training
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, how to become cryptologist, those folks filter out and go into the other areas of intelligence, that is where the schoolhouse is for our men and women in uniform who are trying to begin to people these slots that conduct intelligence. andrew, wisconsin, democratic caller. go ahead. caller: i was born in tennessee and had a chance to march with dr. king before he died. democrats phones have been tapped since the beginning of time. i moved to wisconsin. black people's phones were tapped in wisconsin. nsa.e they have had my phone cap for two years. when they got surveillance on
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it was one day behind. whatever you are saying, you have got your beliefs, but we know what is really happening in society. host: how do you know that your phone is tapped the nsa e caller: -- nsa? the nsait came out that was tapping phones, and the day behind, it said tuesday but my said monday. host: would someone know that the nsa is doing this? guest: no, they do not do that without a warrant and those phone taps would be done by the fbi, local police, state police and others. i do not know how that would indicate that the nsa is doing it because the data is collected away from the phone itself, it is collected as a process. not directly off the phone.
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i am not sure about the proof or why his phone would be one day off like that, but i cannot imagine that it has anything to do with the nsa. the data center being used in utah to collect this information, they are having power outages and issues with having enough power to operate. have you been briefed on that? what is being done about it yeah -- what is being done about it yeah co --? contractors will have to get that fixed to make sure the site is up and ready to go when it is time to go. it has got to be consistent and reliable in this whole environment. contractors will have to get thatyou have got to have ths on and the power coming at you.
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host: have you visited the site? guest: i would like to, sure. there are a variety of places around the country where we have intelligence, my plan is to talk to theoperators, talk folks manning this around the world. there are members of congress who do those things when you're on the committees and it goes to to her. laura here, saying -- " watch like a hawk, no one is aware of the breath or depth of these programs your co guest: we are, but the problem is we cannot communicate that to the american people, have not found a way to communicate that to the people.
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we on the committee are trying to figure out how we can do that , without disclosing sources and methods, without tipping our hand to the bad guys, how can we begin to tip our hand and build confidence for the american people yeah co we are trying to find that sweet spot, so to speak, of doing that and still perfecting the country, but giving the people some confidence that this is being done appropriately and that there is a separate set of eyes watching the process. that if it does get out of bounds within the narrow bounds of what the nsa can and cannot do in the united states, that it is caught and that there are consequences for the folks who did whatever it is they are accused of doing. host: another tweet -- have a rolling system of data collection where each month it rolls off and is
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destroyed, absolutely. do what we need to do to regain confidence in notamerican people yet advantage the adversaries who are bad people. we are going after the heartless and cruel people who would kill american -- destroy american property just because we are americans. we cannot let our guard down, but we must restore trust as well. can you give viewers watching an idea of how many threats there are on a daily or weekly basis? on the kind ofds threat. if it is a cyber threat, there are thousands every day. i cannot hazard a guess on the number that varies, but there are plenty of bad people out there that want to hurt americans. host joe, janet, west
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virginia, if you can make it quick, that would be great. a few thingsler: to ask about, when you say the nsa is not crying into the telephone calls of people, how about the irs? to getnied conservatives their countries -- to be able to ?et their money also, there should be a time limit for congress. i do not know if connolly is in the house or senate, and how come they did not have -- help the republicans? just like vladimir putin said. he did not understand what obama was doing. he was either ignorant or trying to destroy america. guest: she brings up a great point, the issue i was talking about, so many instances where executive branch agencies have
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screwed up. i can assure you that if the irs had the oversight of the nsa, that would not have happened. if they are so distrusting of governments, we have to fight that. people want to paint our government with the same brush, she is exactly right, there was some abuse of power over there at the irs and we have continued to investigate that. it is against that backdrop we are trying to defend programs that are important for this country, defense, and national security. that is the tough battle i have got. we are trying to find some things to do to help with respect to the intelligence we beingthering where it is properly overseen, gathered, and watched like a hawk. host: congressman, thank you for coming to talk to our viewers. guest: >> and that discussion from today's "washington journal." shortly, we will bring you live
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coverage of today's white house briefing with spokesman jay carney. we are expecting more questions and remarks from reporters on nsa programs and policy set to get underway at any moment. we'll have it here from the beginning here on c-span2. and by the way, very quickly, a few moments on c-span3 we'll have live coverage of a house hearing with testimony from the director of national intelligence, james clapper, and nsa chief, general keith alexander. that is set to start in about three or four minutes at 1:30 eastern on c-span3. earlier today centers for medicare and medicaid administrator marilyn tavenner testified before a house committee on capitol hill about problems with the web site healthcare.gov, and some of the issues people are facing signing up for it. here's a quick look. >> thank you, chairman camp, re ranking member levin and members of the committee. on october 1st we launched onen of the key provisions of the affordable care act, the newttee
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marketplace where people without healthd insurance, including those who could not afford it and those who were not part of a group plan, could go to get affordable coverage.clud we mow that consumers are having difficulty enrolling via the marketplace web site. it is important to note that the affordable care act, however, ig more than just a d web site. it creates a new market whichtht allows people to access quality, affordable health care. allows them to have insurance options. it creates a pooling of consumers into statewide group plans that can spread the risko between sick people and healthy people, between young and old and then bargains on their behalf to get them the best deal on health insurance. by creating competition where there wasn'tol competition befo, insurers are now eager for new business and have created new health care plans c with more choices. the premiums for coverage were lower than expected, and millions of americans will also qualify for tax credits to make the coverage even more co affordable. we know that consumers are eager to purchase this coverage, and
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to the a millions of americans m have attempted to use healthcare.gov to shop and enroll in health care coverage, i want to apologize to you that the web site has not worked as well as it should. we know how desperately you need affordable coverage. i want to assure you thatld. healthcare.gov can and will be fixed, and we are working around the clock to deliver the shopping experience that you deserve. we are seeing improvements each week, and as we said publicly,ee by the end of november the experience on the site will be smooth for the vast majority of users. >> and that from earlier today. we had it live on c-span3. today's white house briefing starts shortly, live coverage when it gets underway here on c-span2. until then, remarks from tennessee senator lamar alexander on the senate floor today calling for the firing of hhs secretary kathleen sebelius over problems withn healthcare.gov. >> the president should ask the secretary of health and human
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services, kathleen sebelius, to resign her position because ofo the disastrous rollout ofhe obamacare. taxpayers have spent 400 millioo to create exchanges that after three and one-half years stillad don't work. as a result, the white house had to announce last night that theo key enforcement mechanism to their individual mandate, a $95 fine that increases every year, will be waived until the end of march of next year. that's fine for those currently without insurance, but for the millions being forced into the exchanges and losing their current insurance, there's no relief, just higher prices. a likely lapse in insurance coverage, a broken web site and broken promises.romi we already know of 1.5 million americans who are losing their policies because starting january 1 many insurance policies that they now have will not be legal under obamacare ana because the exchange will not be working, they won't be able to choose another policy.
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this chart gives an example of what's going on. just in three states -- california, florida and new jersey -- there are 1.4 million insurance policies that won't be valid after january 1 because they're not legal under obamacare. compare that number, 1.4 million, to the number of americans in those three states who havete reportedly applied on the web site for insurance. so 7 or 8% of all the people whh will lose their current policy have applied for a different. policy. that's what's really going on across this country in families as people worry about health care. these are policies in the individual market. there are 19 million americans in the individual market.ual we also heard on nbc news over the last couple of days that the obama administration knew, knew
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that 47-60% of the policies in % the individual market wouldn'tod be legally offered under o obamacare, yet still said to people if you like your insurance, you can keep it. mr. president, at some point there has to be accountability. expecting this secretary to begh able to fix what she hasn't been able to fix during the last three and a half years is unrealistic. it's throwing good money afterey bad. it's time for her to resign, someone else to take charge. cha no private sector chief executive would escape accountability after such a poor performance. and the principle of accountability is not and should not be foreign to the publiclic sector. admiral rickover, father of the nuclear navy, told his submarine captains that they were not only accountable for their ships, they were also accountable for the nuclear reactors on their ships. if anything went wrong with the reactor, the admiral said, your
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career in the navy is over. as a result of that dose of accountability, since the the 1950s there's never been a death as a result of a problem with a naval submarine reactor. americans deserve that kind ofas accountability in the implementation of the new health care law. instead, the secretary appears not even to have told the president about known problems with the obamacare web site in the months and days leading up to the launch. despite repeated requests, she has refused to tell congress ore the public the reasons the obamacare web site continues to fail while insisting on moreime time and an undisclosed amountey of money to fix it. before the internet rca knew how many records elvis was selling every day, ford knew how many cars they were selling every day, mcdonald's could tell you ho sw many hamburgers it had sod each day, yet here we are in the advanced stage of the internet age, and under secretary
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sebelius' leadership the obamads administration will not tell us how many americans have tried to sign up for obamacare. or how many have actually signea up obamacare. w orha what level of insurance they've purchased or in what zic code they live. they've done their best to keepp us from finding out. with wikileaks and edward snowden spilling our beans every day, what's happening on the obamacare can exchanges is thecn best-kept secret left in washington d.c. b the national security agency could learn something from secretary sebelius. unanimous consent -- later today -- to approve a six-page require thein administration to answer these questions every week. secretary sebelius is not responsible for enactingut obamacare, but she has been responsible for three and
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ars one-half years for implementing it. now many americans have only a few weeks to purchase new insurance or be without health insurance. to expect the secretary to correct in a few weeks what she's not been able to do in three and one-half years is unrealistic. mr. president, it's time for the president to ask the secretary of health and human services toc resign. r i thankes the president, and i yield the floor. be. >> today's white house briefing expected to get under way in just a moment. we will have it live here on c-span2 when it starts. earlier during general speeches in the senate we heard a series of senators talking about the one-year anniversary of hurricane sandy hitting the east coast of the u.s. and recovery efforts. hurricane sandy the second costliest hurricane in u.s. history causing damage totaling $68 billion, surpassed only by hurricane katrina. also on hurricane sandy was new
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>> here's an example of how far we've come. you can see here the damage thah sandy brought on this home one year ago, and as you can see in the second photo, today it is b well on its way to being fully y restored. but we have a long way yet to go in every community to fullyxten recover from the extent of the damage and to make families and businesses whole again. a a year ago this headline ran in "the record," businesses' losses mount, i should say, some choosing to close rather than rebuild. hundreds of thousands of businesses were forced to close causing an estimated $65 billion in economic loss and resulted in emergency declaration for sast disasters in 13 states up and down the east coast. o in a matter of minutes, people had lost lives, they lost their
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homes, their property, their livelihoods, but they stood and strong and began to rebuild. beyond the headlines of this, we see the jersey spirit that camen in through person after person. despite the uphill climb, new oe jersey rebuilt one home at a a time, one business at a time, one community at a time, and us that's what makes us jersey strong. d for ten days millions along the east coast lived without power, without phones. str seniors were stranded on the upper floors of buildings where elevators were out. the loss of power led to fuel shortages and long gas lines. you can see in this photographof the terminal that brings literally thousands of changes between new york and new jersey and hoboken the extent of damage our transportationo infrastructure.tiono it was a wake-up call to what could happen again in the future, and the investment we need to make in our to infrastructure to avoid future
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damage from future storms. the sandy recovery package we passed last year included $13 billion in critical funding. i sought to help restore our transit and highway systems froa what they looked like -- as you can see in this photograph.as a the port authority was able to repair the station at hoboken, to harden electrical equipment to prevent future damage. njdot was able to elevate roadsy washed away by sandy, and at thl end of the day, the legislation included necessary policy reforms that helped streamline fema'spr public assistanceebui programs allowing us to rebuild what was in place before theuild storm and building it stronger and better than before. since then almost $400 million m in fema grants have beenuals approved to help individuals and families recover. that's over $341 million for housing assistance and more tha $54 million for additional needs.
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homeowners, renters and businesd owners have received over $764 million in sba disaster loans, $314 million in fema public assistance grants to help local communities and local nonprofits that serve the public and provided relief. flo national flood insurance program payments to new jersey have amounted to $3.5 billion to help people rebuild and get their lives back on track.y in new jersey alone, more than0p 261,000 contacted fema for help and information, over 126,000 homes have been inspected. and while these numbers show the progress that we've made, the reality is that still for of thousands of people in new around-the-clock, 24/7 effort. e many new jersey families have now been hit with a, what i call a triple whammy.mmy be having been flooded -- having been flooded by sandy and lost,
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in some cases, a lifetime of work, then facing repair and mitigation costs, and now facinl astronomical increases in flood insurance costs built into athat flood reform bill that was even asev we slowly recover from disaster is looming in thehe distance. o jeopardizing ourur recovery. the combination of updated flood maps and the phase out of premium subsidies for the national flood insurance program threatens to force victims outhr of their homes and destroy entire communities. many homeowners will be forced to pay premiums that are several times higher than the current rate they pay. those who cannot afford thes higherwi premiums will be forced to either sell or be priced out of their home, probably at a fire sale.
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this in turn will drive propertv values and local revenues down at the worst possible time. i'v now, i've heard from countless new jerseyans, many who have come to me in tears while facing this predicament. these are hard working, middle class families who played by the rules, purchased flood insurance and are now being priced out off their home.in o in order to stop this manmaderom disaster from doing even more l damage, i'llea be leaving thees floor in a few minutes and going to introduce bipartisan legislation to take a timeout and assess the impact theseave premium hikes will have on homeowners and the flood insurance program as a whole. the homeowners flood insurance affordability act which we'll bl announcing in a few minutes would delay flood insurance premium increases imposed in the bigger water legislation for f most primary residents until fema completes an affordability study p and proposes a regulatoy
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framework to address the issues found in the study. g this will give current bre homeowners some breathing roomce before their flood insurance forfo prospective home buyers, w certainty that they will not see their rate dramatically increase simply because they purchase a a home is critically important to maintaining property values.nd o so at the end of the day, wer look back at the year since thed storm struck is and remember those who lost their lives and those who came together to help their neighbors rebuild. e remember theff efforts of firste responders and governmenrst and community leaders pulling together.aid it's often said that the hardesm steel must go through the hottest fire. and sandy tested what we were o. made of. when we look at this photograph of twisted metal that once was r roller coaster, we associate it with the destruction of sandy. but we also associate it withe'e how far we've come and whated we've learned.that we've learned that it's not
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enough to live in a community, we have to be a part of it. we have to remember thathi citizenship p comes with responsibility not just torsel ourselves, but to each other. in the face of sandy and thedy a aftermath, the tragedy and the community. weco worked together, helped eah other rebuild lives and businesses and homes, our beaches and boardwalks, and in doing so, we strengthened new jersey's sense of pride and a belief that we are, in fact, in this all together. it is that spirit, that unity that has made new jersey stronger and better than before. let me conclude, mr. president, by saying that recovery from any disaster depends on our continuing cooperation within our communities at every level of government. the business of government iss people, their lives, their hopes, their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. in new jersey we provee that at every level of government with various agencies working together we all came together.
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there can be no tolerance of partisan division when it comes state'sts efforts to help famils rebuild from a disaster like sandy. the storm was extraordinary, but what makes me extraordinarily proud is that new jerseyans rose to the challenge as they always do. there is much work left to do. we've learned that recovery from a disaster is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. full recovery from sandy willge take more than a village. but at the end of the day, the biggest reason new jersey has our state willou come back bettr and stronger than before is because of the people who live there. it hasn't been easy. c but i can never have been more proud to represent the people of new jersey than i have during this last year since sandy struck. i've seen the best of who we are and what we can do when we pull together, each of us working fof
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the recovery of all of us. looking back at the last year, i'd say we're all new jersey proud as well as new jersey strong. >> senator bob menendez among those marking the one-year an verse -- anniversary of hurricane sandy. awaiting spokesman jay carney for the white house briefing today, we're expecting questions on healthcare.gov and nsa programs which is a topic under investigation by the house intelligence committee. you can see that hearing live right now on our companion network, c-span3, started about ten minutes ago. again, here on c-span2 we'll have the white house briefing when it starts momentarily. while we wait, we'll show you leader remarks at the beginning of the session of the u.s.er. senate today. >> today the senate will consider a motion to proceed to a resolution of disapproval filed by the republican leader which would cause the country to default on its debts for thes
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first w time in history. democrats will move to promote the full faith and credit of ou. great country. i wouldby remind my republicanca friends that twon weeks ago evey democrat and 27 republicans in s the senate as well as 285 members of the house of representatives already voted tr do the right thing and pay the nation's debts. so i look forward to quicklyh dispensing with this republicanu resolution which would risk america's economic security as well as a global depression. afternoon after our weekly business meetings.ness mr. president, i want to spend a little bit s of time talking abt nominations. directly after the vote on the default legislation, a vote to break a filibuster of president obama's nomination of richard griffin to serve as general as counsel of the national labor c relations board. mr. president? there's already been 67 of president obama's nominations filibustered.
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mr. president, let's just vote v on these nominations.d i and i can't imagine why it would be a good thing for this countre or this senate to not allow usto to go forward on this nomination.omin if you don't like him, vote against him, but don't stop the debate from going forward.rd. if cloture is invoked, there'll be 80 hours in debate under the new rules we've established here if thed senate.we we will have four hours -- theor minority will have four hours. so i think that would be theriat appropriate thing to do. mr. president, few americans are aware of the job that theelat national labor relations board does, but it looks out for the rights of millions of u.s. workers every day; democratic workers, republican workers, independents, tea party workers. regardless of whether they're in a union or not. mr. griffin has extensive
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experience in employment law. he's highly respected by his b fellow labor lawyersot on both e union and business sides. as general counsel for the nlrb, he will safeguard workingking conditions for all american workers. this week the senate will also vote on a number of other nominations, ove some of whom have been stalled for more than a year. the senate will consider a kat nomination of katherine aroundho chu let that. that is an extremely important position. she started her career in public service as an elementary schoolteacher.e wi she will be the agency's first f hispanic director.ir her desireec observe is earnest. this is what she said, and i quote: you do this public service because you have a deep passion for public good and civic engagement. that's her quote.king she's working in both the transportation areas of the
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department under president t clinton, served as chief of staff to labor secretary hilda solis for three years. she's eminently qualified, yet she is the first opm director to be filibustered in the entire history of this agency. this week the senate will also consider the stalled nominatione of alan estes, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense. mr. president, this man's nomination has been stalled for 402 days. he will be responsible for $170 billion logistics budget. $170 billion. that's a year. this budget supports our men and women in uniform as well as millions of machines that makeac them andhi take them where they want to go. he's specialized in military
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logistics for more than tennd years, and it's unfortunate that republicans will hold up is confirmation of such a crucial l defense department nomination. now, i'm told most of it's held up for an unrelated matter iss dealing with some other issue. if you don't like this guy, g stand up and say why you don't like him, vote against him.p forward on thefo nomination. now, most of the opposition to this man that's been held up is, i'm told, by the senior senator from texas. the junior senator from texas has placed a hold on another nomination, a man by the name of tom wheeler to be democraticr of member of the federal communications commission, the fcc. very important agency. and be in addition to writing two books, mr. wheeler has founf several technologically-important
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companies. he's cofounded the largest online targeted news service and helped with the united states government's telecommunications policy. president obama nominated tom wheeler as well as republican michael reilly to fill two vacant seats on the fcc. so what's stopping us frompart filling these vacancies with a bipartisan set of nominees?ause listen to this, the senator of texas opposes legislation proposed by democrats inould congress that would require not only groups that spend millions on political advertising to d disclose their donors. now, this next one is really a doozy, mr. president.e un the united states secretary of finance, treasury, i'm sorry -- in other countries it's called secretary of, or minister of finance. extremely important job. now, this man is qualified.
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management and budget, he's been the president's chief of staff, he's now secretary of treasury, and what a fine, fine man, jack lew. jack lew, even though he is the secretary of treasury of this great country, he can't go toins meetings that other finance ministers from can go. why? because the republicans are all these important bank boards, finance boards. international monetary fund, t he's supposed to be there, he can't go. he's a talented and dedicated public servant. he's already been approved by the senate, confirmed by the senate. every treasury secretary serves on the international banks' boards and offers input about america's position on global and financial matters. that's his job. he can't do that because of whae
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it's ani' embarrassment that we haven't acted more swiftly toent confirm him in this role. to think we have to file cloture on this? yet the junior senator from kentucky has subjected this nomination to partisan wrangling, and others haveject joined with him, i assume, as hh threatened to do with the do nomination of janet yellen foree chairman of the federal reserve. now, mr. president, the presiding officer and others whs serve in this body have served in the house of representativesn with ata fine public servant byf the name of mel watt. i got to know mel watt when he was chairman of the congressional caucus.ress he would come over and visitisit with me every month or so. fine man. he's represented north r carolina's 12th congressional district since 1993. and as a senior member of the t house financial service committee, he understands the mistakes that led to the housino crisis. he also has proposed legislatiol to crack down on the worst
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abuses in mortgage lending and help pass the dodd-frank bill te prevent predatory lending. by any measure congressman watt is qualified to help struggling homeowners recover from the worst economic downturn in generations, and my republican colleagues should give him the up or down vote he deserves, not filibuster him. i know some republicans don't like dodd-frank. obviously, they didn't mind the abuses that took place that led to the crash of wall street. but he shouldn't be punished for that. so, mr. president, a time when a america faces difficult economic times at home and threats, it's crucial the senate confirm these talented, dedicated individuals to serve in the executive branch of government. let us vote on thesehese nominations. we shouldn't have in these normally easy, confirmable
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positions a filibuster. not long ago i can remember concerned becauseco they couldnt get the votes they wanted on their nominees for president bush. they have, they've spread this record clear that the presidenth chooses the playerse on his tean we should return to that. remove partisanship period of time confirmation -- from the n confirmation process and insure they be given the consideration they deserve. >> a live picture from the white house briefing room. in a few moments, we are expecting remarks from white house spokesman jay carney. he'll have today's briefing, and we'll bring it to you live here on c-span2 when it gets under way in just a moment. [inaudible conversations]
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>> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for being here for your white house briefing. before i take your questions, i have a couple of announcements. first, i'd like to note that yesterday majority leader reid filed cloture on several qualified nominees including patricia milett who is the first of three nominees that have been nominated to serve as a judge on the d.c. circuit court. a military spouse, she's a leading appellate lawyer. only one woman has argued before the supreme court more often than she has, and she is supported by an impressive list of bipartisan lawyers as well as leaders from the law enforcement and business communities. while some cynically raise the workload of the court, it is important to keep in mind that she would fill the ninth seat of this 11-member court. the last time the senate confirmed a judge to the ninth seat was in 2003 when the court
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had almost 50% fewer, pending appeals, compared to today. and yet john roberts was confirmed by voice vote. that john roberts. and as you know, the senate later confirmed the 10th and 11th seats with president bush's nominees. so we urge the senate to follow that precedent, to give this enormously-qualified nominee a confirmation vote. secondly, i'd like to note that a new report released by the department of health and human services shows good muse for young adults under the affordable care act. the report looked at 18-34-year-olds in 34 states and found that nearly half of single, young adults who are uninsured may be able to get coverage for $50 or less per month in the health insurance marketplaces in 2014. and nearly 7 out of 10 of
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single, young adults who are uninsured may be able to pay $100 or less per month for coverage in 2014. according to the report, an additional one million eligible uninsured single, young adults may qualify for medicaid in the states that have opted to expand that program next year. this is good news for young adults who have been priced out of the market in the past or could not get affordable coverage because of a pre-existing condition or decided to risk it and then ended up tens of thousands of dollars in debt after an accident. today's report also shows that if more expanded their medicaid programs, the number of young adults who could get low-cost coverage would be even greater. specifically, if all 34 states that are run by the federal government or in partnership with states were to expand medicaid, about 4.9 million uninsured single, young adults would be eligible for medicaid instead of one million. so tib that. an additional 3.9 million
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single, young adults would be eligible for medicaid, would receive that security from the coverage provided by medicaid if those other states were to expand their programs as some have. now, because of the affordable care act young adults can shop for quality, affordable coverage for themselves and their families, and they may get a tax credit to make it even more affordable. so that is good news, indeed. with that, i'll take your questions. julie pace. >> thanks, jay. there's a report that -- [inaudible] were actually done by intelligence services in those countries, not by the nsa. and since the administration has said that there were unspecified inaccuracies in the reports about these revelations, can you say if that is what you were talking about -- >> you want me to specify what the unspecified inaccuracies might be? >> i do. >> you know, we have important, cooperative of relationships with the security agencies and intelligence agencies of other
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nations, of allied nations, and i'm not going to get into the specific alleged activities, intelligence activities of the united states or our allies. we're, obviously, more broadly engaged in a review, as i discussed at length yesterday, of our intelligence-gathering activities. mindful of the fact that because of the explosion in our technological capacities we need to look at and make sure that we are not just gathering intelligence because we can, but we're gathering it because we need it. and that review is underway and will be completed by the end of the year. >> one of the things the official gave under review is the surveillance -- is the administration's plan to conduct this review and tell the public of its outcomes all at once, or is it possible that we could learn in the coming days or a
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shorter time frame of the decision on that specific program -- [inaudible] >> i think generally speaking you should expect it upon conclusion of the review. we will endeavor to make public as much information as possible mindful of the fact that these are national security programs and national security operations and intelligence matters that almost by definition demand that not everything be revealed about them. so that's a long way of answering that i think you would expect us to have much more to say at the cop collusion of the review than we can say now. i can tell you that in the course of the review some decisions have been made about our intelligence-gathering activities even as we with proceed with it, and some of those decisions have been made and are being implemented. but we're not going to get boo deta